Thursday, 27 August 2015

Hello! After a week hiatus and a short break in New York I'm back to hammer at the gates of a Terra once again. In this article I will share my thoughts on basing and how I went about creating the million, million fallen monuments that littered the ground at the siege of Terra.   

One of the appealing aspects of collecting a Heresy army is thinking about where it is placed in the timeline. The basing can contextualise a force. It can tell you where the warriors are fighting and tell you a little about the character of the force itself. An Imperial Fist force taking arms and armament from the Red Sands of Mars would look different from VII defending an outpost on an ice world. 

The mythos of the Blood Angels defending the Imperial Palace has been an enduring image since childhood. What is more evocative that the epic final battle of mankind on the homeward of the species?  But what does Terra look like? Well thankfully there have been many pieces of art published over the years. Below are some of my favourites. 

I imagine the imperial palace to be a place of palatial gardens, administration buildings, villas and monuments from all the ages of mankind. A phrase came to mind: “We wage the final war of mankind choking amid the pummelled ruins of a million, million cultures.' I want to convey that the ruins of the Imperial Palace was positively choked with monuments and the rarest works of art a galaxy spanning empire has produced. The artillery smashing down on these grounds would create a a fog of pulverised masonry. But again we have to ask ourselves, how do we go about creating this? 

In comes power putty and the 1:33 scale busts. The busts were bought from eBay. They are Chinese reproductions (there's a joke in here somewhere about Chinese knock offs and Forgeworld but jet lag dulls the senses wonderfully) and are made from plaster. The idea is to create impressions of the states with the putty, then use more putty to create negatives. 

Step one: mix up the putty and coat the statue with vaseline. This putty has a setting time of about five minutes so you don't have to wait long. 

Step two: mix up more putty and press into the recess of the mould you have made. Wait another five minutes and voila. Although these casts won't be as sharp as the originals, they don't need to be. You can drill into them, add jutting spars of supporting metal, or add bullet holes. With weathering powders and other basing materials you can create some handsome bases for your own army. 

For three dimensional bases you can break up the originals. I did this by drilling through them with a Dremel then super glueing them to the base. 

The next stage was the painting. I’ve been experimenting with marble effects and I thought I’d be adventurous and extend it across an entire army. The marble technique I use is quite simple but involves lots of layers and brush technique that I can’t really explain in a step by step tutorial. But I will try and put a very basic outline in another article. 

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Have I mentioned this painting course already?
Animosity presents - Batman Miniature Game Worldwide Tournament 2015 (UK), on the 26th of September at Wollaton Hall. The 26th is officially DC Comics Batman Day.
Some of you will be aware that Animosity has close ties with Lil Legend and on the 26th the Studio will be joining us at Wollaton Hall, Nottingham, to provide a day long airbrush tutorial, focusing on the Arkham City Batman by Knight Models.
The Lil Legend Studio Airbrush Tutorial
Animosity and Lil Legend Studios are proud to offer the opportunity for hobbyists to participate in a one day Airbrush Tutorial under the stewardship of Lil Legend Studios.
Attendees will be able to develop and learn new painting skills as they are tutored throughout the day by the talented Myles David.
The tutorial takes place at Wollaton Hall on the 26th of September parallel to the Batman Miniatures Game Worldwide Tournament.
With the support of Knight Models, each participant will receive their own Batman Miniatures Game, Arkham City Batman Miniature. The Lil Legend will guide students through the painting of the Batman.
Prior to attending the course please email to confirm availability as Level ONE and Level TWO tickets are limited.
Participation has two levels.
Level ONE
Course Participant – One to one tuition from the Lil Legend. To participate in the course you will require a Participant’s ticket. Tickets for participating are £55, made payable via PayPal to
When purchasing the ticket please leave a note with your contacts details, including full name, phone number, and valid email address (this is where we will send your e-ticket).
Participants will receive one to one tuition from Myles, as he guides you through the painting of Arkham City Batman.
To attend you will require…
• One e-ticket (which will be emailed to the address provided by you upon Paypal purchase)
• Your Airbrush
• Your Airbrush Cleaning Kit
• A lamp with a day light bulb
• Kitchen Roll
• Paints (A good varied selection is best, concentrating on moody colours)
• Palette (wet or dry)
• Brushes
• Oil and Enamel washes (optional)
• Notepad
• Pen or Pencil
Level TWO
Course Observer – The chance to see the Lil Legend in action. To Observe the course you will require an Observer Ticket. Tickets for observing are £10, made payable via Paypal to
When purchasing the ticket please leave a note with your contacts details, including full name, phone number, and valid email address (this is where we will send your e-ticket).
Observers will be able to view the course in its entirety and will be given the opportunity to ask questions at scheduled intervals.
To attend you will require…
• One e-ticket (which will be emailed to the address provided by you upon Paypal purchase)
• Notepad
• Pen or Pencil
In order to provide all Level ONE participants with thorough one to one tuition it is necessary that tickets are limited. Observers must please be aware that the course will require the full attention of the tutor unless it is a scheduled Q+A period.

Friday, 14 August 2015

"Lo, a shadow of horror is risen 
In Eternity! Unknown, unprolific,
Self-clos'd, all-repelling: what demon
Hath form'd this abominable void,
This soul-shudd'ring vacuum? Some said
"It is Urizen." But unknown, abstracted,
Brooding, secret, the dark power hid. "

Chapter 1, Urizen.

Paints used: Vallejo, Reaper Master Series, Games Workshop Washes, Com Art Medea Airbrush
Paint Brushes: Rosemary & Co. Raphael 8040, Broken Toad Brushes

I believe this is my fourth Lorgar, painting him felt like revising an old friend. I went over my original notes and drafted a new set for the Word Bearers before this project. It allowed me to re-read First Heretic and Betrayer which is never a hard ship. The major difference between this and the older versions is the freehand on the cloak. Instead of a literal image taken from Blake I recreated the strange Colchisian cruciform found on his armour. 

The hardest part of any Lorgar commission will be depicting his golden skin. Metallics are notoriously hard to photograph and do not have a great range when it comes to defining the features of a face. Shadows and highlights change in different light conditions so keeping control of these things is difficult. 

Expect to see plenty of more Primarch Commissions rolling in over the next couple of months. 


Tuesday, 11 August 2015

This post will be light on the philosophy and is more of a catch up of where we are. Painting is in full swing. 18 marines have had the airbrush layers put on and will be pushed into the brush stage. 
I've completed the squad Sgt. as a tester for the rest and I'm very pleased with the result. 

I've added a decal of the Legion symbol but I won't be adding any more as I'm not sure if Forge World will change it to a more nostalgic version. I won't be adding much in the way of detail to the models either - again waiting for Forge World to release a few colour plates so I have a feel of the secondary colours used and the patterns.

Dynameis - Literally translates as Powers but has connotations of Strength, miracles, but more strongly expressed as exceptional miracles (Renweal Theology: Systematic Theology from a Charismatic Perspective pg 156). Strange that miracles have a hierarchy - what would a mundane miracle be? 

The Dynameis are my terminator unit. The first creation was a terminator with parts from the Sanguinary Guard, Phoenix Terminators and the Cataphractii kit. In battle I imagine these guys are dropped like an anchor from which the Blood Angel support elements can build or face from. These guys are the back bone of a dynamic assault. Like all Blood Angels their armour is individually decorated and crafted with an eye to aesthetic beauty - an echo from Baalite culture.  

The second unit had to be 20 Tactical Legionnaires. Unlike their 40K descendants, Tactical marines could be taken in swathes. The silhouette of a 40K marine army is different to a 30K one, the Sicarans, Contemptors, Primarchs and Superheavies all make a distinct impression on the field. 

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Once a devout believer in all that the Imperium stood for, at the Battle of Calth it was clear to those who witnessed the atrocities he masterminded that Zardu Layak, the Crimson Apostle, had fallen completely into darkness along with the rest of the Word Bearers Legion. 

Suffused in dark powers which he used freely to destroy minds and bodies, Zardu Layak walked his bloody path accompanied by a pair of bodyguards, each unnaturally warped and contorted and possessed of great strength. Wielding the Anakatis blades, gifts bestowed upon them by Layak and weapons of unholy xenos influence and malevolent power, they cut a swathe through their master’s foes in a barely controlled hunger for slaughter. 

Paints used: Vallejo, Reaper Master Series, Games Workshop Washes, Com Art Medea Airbrush
Paint Brushes: Rosemary & Co. Raphael 8040, Broken Toad Brushes

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

The First Captain of the Death Guard Legion once pursued the role of Epistolary in the Legion's Librarius, but with the Primarch Mortarion harbouring a deep-rooted distrust of those who wield the powers of the psyker, Typhon suppressed his gift and strove instead to serve as a war leader. His strength, skill and demeanour led him to high rank indeed, culminating in his command of the potent and unique war ship Terminus Est and the deadly alchemical payload held within its arsenal.

Paints used: Vallejo, Reaper Master Series, Games Workshop Washes, Com Art Medea Airbrush
Paint Brushes: Rosemary & Co. Raphael 8040, Broken Toad Brushes

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Painting the perfect red. 

I don’t want to paint any old red. I want the red. The perfect red. The transcended red of my inner mind as I see the Legions wage war. 

Just as I don’t want to paint Sons of Horus in any old green, the Emperor’s children in any purple. I need the perfect colours; but perfection depends on perceptive. My perfect red is composed from all sorts of influences, from childhood memories, art, imagining battle scenes and the how other people have painted their miniatures. 

I think the Horus Heresy favours a realistic approach to painting these miniatures. Paint chips, scored armour, oil weathering and rust effects are prevalent in the painting scene (but that’s not to exclude other styles which look equally effective on these awesome models). But without a good base to work from these techniques can feel superfluous. Back to the original question; how to paint the perfect blood angel red? 

White Dwarf run a series of articles on how to paint Space Marines when the original RTB01 kit was released. I’ve included a scan here, but I’d urge you to seek it out as it covers how to  Ultramarines, Space wolves and Salamanders. It is interesting to think how different 40k would be if GW decided to develop the Salamander range instead of the Dark Angels into a full blown codex. Guess we will never know...

Here is my attempt to recreate this paint job with paints available to me today. My classic Rogue Trader Blood Angel:

Step one 

Easy enough to start. Prepare model, and spray white. No difference.

Step two

As it so happens, I am lucky enough to own an original pot of GW terracotta that had not dried up. It took several thin layers to get a good, solid coat. I've found that GW's current merchite red has a similar pigment, but if your the pedantic type, add a little vermin fur in the mix. For an equivalent in other ranges try using formula P3 Sanguine base or Vallejo’s Gory Red. Paint equipment, backback (I forgot to add it to the marine when photographing), tubing, accessories black.

Stage three

Drybrush pack and weapons boltgun metal. You will notice that GW produced a colour called Blood Angels Orange and not red. However, since the guide calls for the orange to be mixed with Terracotta, I just painted all raised area's of armour with Blood Red. VMC Bloody Red or P3’s Skorne Red for alternatives. 

Stage four

The highlighting stage is really bizarre. Drybrush any metallics surfaces as described above - no problem. The red armour: first highlight with a mix of Blood Angels Orange (just add a touch of Blazing Orange/ Vallejo Orange Fire/ P3’s Ember Orange to Blood Red) and Sunburst Yellow (any lemon yellow will suffice). I moved from a 70:30 mix to a 50:50 (sunburst yellow is pretty transparent when thinned down, so I would use this as a wash to 'taint' the edges of the armour), then added white. White? I didn't understand it either. I thought that the mixture would be tinged with pink (which it was) and ruin the highlight (it didn't, but you have to perform this stage sparingly). 

When I mixed white in, it created a colour similar to elf flesh, which I used to highlight the very extreme of the armour plate. If you make a mistake, and make the highlight too extreme, use some Sunburst Yellow to wash over it and try again.

Stage five

At this stage, you've done the donkey work; time to tidy up. Black line all the recesses in the armour, paint the eyes green, then paint on chapter symbol and squad insignia (interestingly, since most of the old models had a studded left shoulder pad, chapter and squad insignia were often represented on the same pauldron - see above for Blood Angels Tactical).

Stage six 

Base. In contrast to he sand base above, I've really gone old school and based my marine with classic goblin green and green sand. 

And voila - Classic Blood Angel Space Marine.


I think the marine turned out ok. It has the feel of a classic Rogue Trader paint job using layering to build up highlights (no inks or washes - even though I cheated a little with the latter). I think my effort turned out a little darker than the original. I couldn't get comfortable with the highlighting at stage 4. It still feel completely alien highlighting red with white. I also think I should have made the armour brighter at stage three. However, I'm really pleased at how he has turned out, adding an unusual accompaniment to the rest of my army.

Having reviewed the old school approach lets see how we can adapt it using modern techniques.

Undercoat black. I use Halford’s Matt Black after washing all resin parts thoroughly in hot soapy water. You may not feel this stage makes a difference, but it does. Just do it or weep later. 

Stage 1 

Airbrush VMC Fire Red over the red armour plates. Build up a smooth consistent layer. 

Stage 2

Airbrush highlight VMC Fire Red. Hold the airbrush at a 45 degree angle and concentrate on painting the plates that light would hit. Think of this as a sketch - you don’t have to be too precise here, just give a general impression of light and volume. 

Stage 3

Airbrush Com Medea Art Violet for shadow, Com Medea Art White for highlight. Painting over a black surface will give always give a slightly dulled effect to the final product. By introducing white here we are adding luminosity to the final armour plates and adding depth to the final red.

Stage 4 

Airbrush Com Medea Art OP. Toluidine Red. The Beauty of Com Medea Art paints is that they are slightly transparent. Although one layer won’t give a consistent finish, it does give you the possibility of building layers, concentrating on highlighting and developing the complexity of tone. We want to cover the white and allow the harsh darker tones to be mellowed a little. 

Stage 5

Airbrush Com Medea Art Dintirile Orange. Use your airbrush in tight banded circles to add volume to the armour plates. From this stage forward we are aiming to sharpen the details of the sculpt so colour placement is even more important. Hit areas of the armour where it would be lighter than the previous stages and work on the contrast between note red and the orange. 

Stage 6

Airbrush Scale 75 White Sands mixed with previous Dintirile Orange (30/70, work up to pure White Sand).

We are painting the first band of extreme highlight. Don’t worry if this stage is a little garish as we will be knocking back the harshness of the tone with the brush. 

Stage 7

From this point onward we will be switching to using the brush alone. The Airbrush has given us the basic sketch from which we can go on to refine. Use GW’s Fuegan Orange glaze and Baal wash to soften the transitions between the red and the white. 

Stage 8: 

Further stages are hard to photograph as you are no longer working in stages, but rather moving colour around the plates to define the shading and highlight banding. Use very thin layers of VMC Sunny Skin Tone and Scale 75 White Sands to highlight the armour plates. Keep applying this until you achieve your desired effect. 

And that’s how you paint the red. From here we can do all sorts of nice things lie oil washes, armour damage, freehand etc… Essentially this red is built up from a maroon base with a blue show and an orange highlight. I think it hits all the right notes and offers a good base to go on and paint your Blood Angels.